Hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants can apply to stay and work in the U.S. without fear of deportation for at least two years. The federal program, defering deportation of illegal immigrants 30 and younger, becomes official policy Wednesday. People can now start applying with a 465-dollar application fee.
The Deferred Deportation Program benefits illegal immigrants brought here as children. President Obama signed the executive order in June. The Pew Hispanic Center says up to 1.7 million people may qualify.
"There's this perception that it's just mostly Latinos who are undocumented but we have Asians, we have people from over the world, Africa, India, even some Europeans."
The President's order includes some provisions of the controversial Dream Act which failed to win enough Republican support to get congressional approval. Republicans say the order amounts to amnesty and overrides congressional authority.
Here's who qualifies for application:
People younger than 30 who arrived in the U.S. before the age of 16, pose no criminal or security threat, and were successful students or served in the military.
Participants must prove they've been living in the U.S. continuously for at least five years.
For more information on the program, visit http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis